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CSP Theatre: Tartuffe Preview

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Published on Sep 20, 2010

The Concordia University Department of Theatre & Dance opens their 2010-2011 season with Tartuffe, a classic French comedy, originally written by Moliere and first performed in Versailles in 1664.

This year we bring in a new director as part of the department's Guest Artist Program. Carin Bratlie is a freelance director, teaching artist, and fight choreographer living here in Minneapolis. She is also the Artistic Director of Theatre Pro Rata and has directed over 50 productions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She teaches theater classes at the Guthrie, Youth Performance Company, Steppingstone Theater and at schools throughout Minnesota.  She was a participant director at the Wesley Balk Opera/Musical Theater Institute in 2007, and received a BA from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN in 1998, and is a member of SAFD.

Carin offers these words about the show: "Tartuffe is about love, greed, desire, and hypocrisy. We have a family that has everything they could ever want, and then a stranger weasels his way into their comfortable lives. He's charismatic, bold, captivating. But he's a wolf in sheep's clothing, and not everything he says he is.  It's a timeless story, and one that I think can easily translate to our modern day, which we're doing with this production. We're setting it in the modern top 1% (think Real Housewives of Orange County) because greed and hypocrisy is something still in our world today."

The play's debut met with controversial after its first performance. King Louis xiv censored it because of his connections which church officials who were deeply offended by its portrayal of religious leaders not necessarily virtuous in their relations with the public. The Archbishop of Paris was, in fact so enraged that he threatened to excommunicate anyone connected with the play or even anyone who would purchase a ticket to see it.

These idea s may have been shocking at the time, but countless variations of this story are still be played out in the world today. One need not delve too deeply into the morning news to find hypocrisy, especially among our leaders not only in government , but even within our churches.

To this day, the word "tartuffe" is used in French to describe a hypocrite, anyone who feigns virtue, especially in religious circles and perhaps there is still a lot to be learned from this script today, especially when it comes to understanding human nature and society. Moliere has a clever way with words. One such quote from the play goes, "one is easily fooled by that which one loves."

Tartuffe
Written by Moliere
Directed by Carin Bratlie
Pearson Theatre
October 21, 22, and 23 at 7:30 PM, October 24 at 2 PM

For more information contact: Dr. Jim Seemann at seemann@csp.edu, 651-641-8896
For details on CSP Theatre faculty, scholarships, productions, courses, camps and more visit www.csp.edu/Theatre

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